3 Easy Tips For Hard Gainers and Hard Losers

27 Jun

I am no rookie at gaining and losing weight. For better or for worse, I have fluctuated my weight quite a few times over the years. However, none as drastic as the past year and a half.

In order to prepare myself for my goal of gaining the PT honors, and honor graduate accolades of my OCS class I took myself from 195 to a lean 173 at my lowest. I was able to bang out 110 pushups in 2 minutes, 101 sit ups, and run a 12:35 2 mile. I snatched a 24kg KB 100 times between two hands in 4 minutes, had a deadlift of about 435, squat 315, and bench 285. Additonally, I was resilient and strong enough to still handle 12 – 15 miles marches with about 80 -100lbs of additional gear on. I reached both of those goals.

Yes that was me about 35lbs, and 10 months ago.

This past year I went from 175 at my lowest to 225ish at my heaviest. I have added 100+ lbs to both my squat and deadlift, and about 75lbs to my bench. I can no longer run a 12:35 2 mile or fit into any clothes. It’s also not my goal to do either of those; the clothes thing…I had to buy new clothes. I fill an XL shirt now, can’t wear jeans, squat 455, pull 545, and press 345. I can still jump and sprint, and handle the marches.

This past week at 212lbs

 

The fact that I was able to do this makes me a little less than compassionate for people who say they are “hard” anything. Getting from 13% to sub 8% Body Fat is hard, getting from 25% to 15% is not. Gaining weight in general is just not that hard. Stop whining.

 

 

It really comes down to being honest with yourself, eating less and eating more. In many cases having the courage to actually step outside what is comfortable and get something done. You will feel hungry, that is a good thing. You will have to denounce your fears of getting fat, and possibly of eating 100% clean to gain a lot of weight, that is a good thing. You won’t get that fat, and if your willing to put the work in, you can do it with quality food.

You will learn lessons about your body, your fortitude, and your support structures (i.e. friends, teammates, family). If you want it, go get it. Here are three easy tips from my experiences.

Hard Gainer:

1. Have calorie bonuses in addition to planned meals:

Options include drinking milk all day, making PBJ sandwiches, protein shakes, homemade bars or “cookies”, peanut butter. Find something to add an additional source of calories that is quick, easy and not counted as planned meals.

2. You need to eat carbohydrates, yes the starchy ones:

Pretty straightforward. Please don’t ask me why your not gaining weight when your carb sources are vegetables, trace sugars, fruits and legumes. Rice, oats, sweet potatoes, and dare I say bread or some sugar…AH!

3. Fat is where it’s at:

Chances are you probably get plenty of protein, we just discussed the carbs need to be something that slightly scares the shit out a paleolithic cross fitter, so that leaves fat. You should see these as the easiest way to add extra calories. The sources are dense, go down quick, and provide a lot of energy. Fats should come from quality sources, no need to shovel down extra ounces of lard. Mix it up, nuts, seeds, nut butters, avocado, some animal fat, healthy oils, and so on.

Hard Loser:

1. Figure it out:

If the guessing game isn’t working, figure it out. Write it down, crunch the numbers, seek help. Often times you just need to get an idea of what is correct and then you can go back to living life normally, sans the livestrong app, notebook and weekly math fest of calories and macros.

2. Eat Less

I find most hard losers try ANYTHING to get around actually consuming less food. This diet and that diet say I can eat all the this and that I want, yippee! Oh wait it’ still not working, ok, eat less.

3. Experience food again

Learn to cook, sit and eat, stop eating alone, stop eating in the car. Regain a positive relationship with food. It will do numbers for the overconsumption and poor habits you don’t even realize are taking place.

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One Response to “3 Easy Tips For Hard Gainers and Hard Losers”

  1. Liz June 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    4. For both: Stop being so concerned about getting fat/skinny/bulky/weak/whatever within a few days, a week, or even a few weeks of trying a different approach. Such a poor excuse.

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